Questions about the bridge.
 

Questions about the bridge.

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Questions about the bridge.    21:51 on Monday, February 27, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

beammedown
(5 points)

So... I'm completely new to this instrument, but I have an inkling that my bridge may be TOO tall for my instrument.

Anyone have any recommendations on how tall a bridge should be?.. Or perhaps how far the strings should be from the actual fingerboard towards the end?

I find myself having a bit of difficulty when using the fingerboard when I get down to the lower positions. Any advice is welcome

Thanks.

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Re: Questions about the bridge.    21:54 on Monday, February 27, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

beammedown
(5 points)

Woops.. It would probably help to tell you what size cello I have u.u It's a 4/4.. Plays nice so far minus the above.

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Re: Questions about the bridge.    14:48 on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

KatsaHawtorne
(53 points)

Hi there,

Alright, I am no professional on this matter either, but here is my understanding on bridge fitting.

All fingerboards have something of a curve when you look down their length, right? Well the "curve" of your bridge should be reflective of the "curve" of your fingerboard. If your fingerboard is quite convex, so ought your bridge be, and the opposite is true of a more flat fingerboard.

I know bridges come in a few different widths and heights, and the style of your individual instrument will be the deciding factor on bridge height and width. If you are not sure, I would suggest taking your cello into the place where you bought it, or perhaps a repair shop, and have them take a look and make a recommendation.

Sorry if this is not much help, but it really is an "every individual instrument will have individual needs" kind of thing.

Kat





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Re: Questions about the bridge.    21:52 on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

beammedown
(5 points)

Ok.. thanks. the bridge is quite a bit taller than the fingerboard... therefore my strings are an index finger's width away from the end of the fingerboard itself and the strings end up with about a 120 degree kink in them >.>

Being so new to this I had no idea that this was a problem... until I started moving down the positions *chuckle* I will have to find a decent luthier here in Vegas to see if I can get this fitted correctly.

The feet on the bridge fit great however.. I suppose that's why I was getting semi-decent sound out of the cello.

Do you suppose that having a bridge too high could cause a scratchy and split tone problem as well?

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Re: Questions about the bridge.    14:44 on Thursday, March 01, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

KatsaHawtorne
(53 points)

Hmm... I think, if you are having tonal problems, I wonder if it is just your "newness" to the instrument. It is very, very common for a beginning cellist to create unwanted harmonics, and to hit neighbouring strings by accident which causes the sound to become "scattered". But, having said that, a high and severely steeped bridge will actually separate your strings, make the distance between them greater. It can be difficult when attempting to change strings quickly to become "disjoined" meaning your bow is moving at a pace different from the notes you are playing.

It could also be a bow problem - does your bow need to be rehaired?

Or, of course, I could be way off the mark, and it is simply that you need your bridge replaced, as you said.




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Re: Questions about the bridge.    16:16 on Thursday, March 01, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

beammedown
(5 points)

The bow is new. Well rosined but not so much that it puffs the rosin back onto the instrument. It does leave residue on the strings however and pulls sound with relative ease.. but I do find myself having to use quite a bit of force to get the string to touch the fingerboard.

Even on open strings.. for instance just bowing the C string downward... my ear picks up an odd tone along with that of the C... I suppose it could be my newness. Are the strings supposed to be FORCED down to the fingerboard with a pull?.. or do they just barely hover .. typically speaking.

I located a local luthier and have an apt tomorrow for evaluation. I suppose we'll see what he says

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Re: Questions about the bridge.    15:24 on Friday, March 02, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

beammedown
(5 points)

Update:

My local luthier confirmed my suspicions today. The neck stretched enough that the bridge was no longer useable . The nut also needed some work.. so my baby is in the shop until next week. The strings were in fact twice as high as they should have been o.o.. Hopefully the work being performed will get her into a playable state.

Thx for the input folks.

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Re: Questions about the bridge.    19:31 on Friday, March 02, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

PhilOShite
(150 points)

Bit late for the original poster, sorry. However, for the benefit of anyone else who was looking for this information, 4.5mm clearance on the A string to 6.5mm clearance on the C string. At least that is what is reccomended on a packet of strings that I have.

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Re: Questions about the bridge.    01:15 on Sunday, March 04, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

I'm using the same cello I had in junior high. A few years ago I took it to Ralph Rabin (well known and well recommended in the area) to have him replace the end pin with a longer one. He also lowered my bridge without my knowledge or consent, and the effect was to make it impossible for me to play pizzicato chords without buzzing. When I brought it back and complained, he said 1) the bridge cannot be returned to its original height or replaced with another that height since he didn't record its height, 2) the height he made the bridge is standard, and 3) he would sand down the fingerboard, which should help.

The sanding helped only a tiny, tiny bit, scarcely noticeable. The lowered bridge also restricts where my bow can go on high notes. The new end pin Rabin installed is flimsier and thinner than the original and bent right away.

The moral as I see it is "standard" height is not necessarily best and cello repairmen are not necessarily to be trusted, no matter how recommended they are.

   

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